Syria said Friday it shot down a Turkish military plane that entered Syrian air space, after Turkey confirmed that it has lost two fighter jets along the borders with Syria.
Late Friday, Syria's state-run news agency, SANA, said the military spotted an "unidentified aerial target" that was flying at a low altitude and at a high speed.
"The Syrian anti-air defenses counteracted with anti-aircraft artillery, hitting it directly," SANA said. "The target turned out to be a Turkish military plane that entered Syrian airspace and was dealt with according to laws observed in such cases."
Turkey issued a statement Friday night following a two-hour security meeting led by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, saying Syrian forces downed the plane and that the two Turkish pilots remain missing.
It said Turkey "will determinedly take the necessary steps" in response, without saying what those actions would be.
"Following the evaluation of data provided by our related institutions and the findings of the joint search and rescue efforts with Syria, it is understood that our plane was downed by Syria," the statement said, without providing other details.
Relations between Turkey and Syria were already tense before the downing of the F4 plane on Friday.
Turkey has joined the US front for toppling President Bashar al-Assad government in Syria.
Syria and Turkey have expelled each other's ambassadors. Turkey supports Syrian opposition and even allows Syrian rebels and terrorists to operate out of Turkish soil.
Turkey's military provided no details on the downed plane's mission Friday, but some Turkish TV reports said it was on a reconnaissance flight.
Syria said the jet violated its air space over territorial waters, penetrating about 1 kilometer (0.62 mile), but that Syrian vessels joined the search for it, according to Turkey's NTV television. It said Syria forces realized that it was a Turkish jet after firing at it. Syria Shoots Down Turkish Fighter Jet